Friday, December 1, 2017

The Culinary Art of an Interview and Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Heather Haven to the blog today. Heather pens the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery series. THE CULINARY ART OF MURDER is the sixth book in the series and was released this week.

Kathy: In THE CULINARY ART OF MURDER Lee Alvarez goes undercover in a culinary arts institute. Do you like to cook? Have you ever taken cooking classes?

HH: I love to cook! And my husband, Norman, is a gourmet and a gourmand. What’s the difference between the two? I have no idea. My husband says one is someone who likes to eat everything. He’s a foodie, glutton, gastronome, epicurean, and connoisseur, so I think he covers everything. That said, I like to cook for him. I have taken cooking classes at the Culinary Arts School of San Francisco. The best investment I ever made. I learned so many things I don’t think I could list them all. I loved every moment!

Kathy: What's your favorite dish to either make or eat?

HH: I like to make what I call Tuscan Chicken, although it winds up being a cross between French and Italian. You can’t go wrong when you add lemons, Herbs de Provence, white wine, garlic, and capers to sautéing pieces of chicken. It’s so win-win. Serve over Saffron rice and with a green salad.

Kathy: Are you a fan of the variety of cooking shows on television now?

HH: Yes! OMG! I watch PBS all the time and learn a multitude of things every time I do. I love cooking shows.

Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?

HH: I wanted to highlight Tío, Lee’s beloved uncle. He is a retired executive chef. I wanted to give him a love interest and highlight the world of gourmet cooking. It was so much fun. And I got to make Arkansan Possum Pie (no animal was harmed or involved in the baking). It’s actually a chocolate silk pie, only better! I mean, a pecan/butter crust? Does it get better?

Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Lee Alvarez?

HH: Yes, Book Seven is in the works, CASTING CALL FOR A CORPSE. Lee has a dear friend, who happens to be a Broadway star. The actress goes on tour and winds up in San Francisco, renting one of the world-famous ‘Painted Ladies’ to live in while performing. Naturally, there is a dead body at every turn. This gives Lee a chance to show off some of the dancing skills she’s acquired through the years but never uses. Also, she finds out whose dead body winds up in the guest bathtub during a soiree and why. More to follow!

Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?

HH: I am a panster, for sure. I know the first chapter and I know the villain (which sometimes changes during writing). Everything in between, I haven’t a clue. On rare occasions, a reader will write to me and say they knew all along who the bad guy was, I think to myself, “Really? Cause I hadn’t a clue, myself, until page 250.” But I’ll tell you. My readers are pretty sharp cookies. And we writers don’t often know what we’re writing until we’ve written it.

Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing, especially for a new release. What's your favorite part of marketing your work? What do you dislike about marketing?

HH: There’s nothing much I like about marketing unless it’s a meet and greet and I get to interact with the readers at a bookstore or gathering. I love that part of it. The rest, not so much.

Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

HH: I am nearly done with Book Two of the Lee Alvarez Mystery Novellas, Marriage Can Be Murder. This is a slightly more romantic mystery than the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, highlighting Lee Alvarez and her husband, Gurn Hanson. They are sort of the modern day Nick and Nora Charles of Silicon Valley. The first one, Honeymoons Can Be Murder, was a lot of fun to write and seems to be doing well. The third one, Anniversaries Can Be Murder, will be done around May. There is a definite theme here!


Lee’s Uncle 'Tío' is smitten with a visiting chef at a Silicon Valley culinary arts institute. When the lady is arrested for two murders, a fellow chef and the dishwasher, Lee Alvarez, lead investigator for Discretionary Inquiries, Inc., the family owned detective agency, agrees to help find the real killer. But undercover work at the institute proves to be more difficult than whipping up a chocolate soufflé. The killer tries to get Lee out of the way and permanently. But just who is it? The lady chef? One of her two sons? Or one of the other inmates from a cooking school with secrets as plentiful as sauces? Can Lee find the real killer before her own goose is cooked? And if it turns out to be the ambitious southern belle chef, will Tío ever forgive Lee for sending his new lady love to jail?


 About the Author After studying drama at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, Heather went to Manhattan to pursue a career. There she wrote short stories, novels, comedy acts, television treatments, ad copy, commercials, and two one-act plays, produced at several places, such as Playwrights Horizon. Once she even ghostwrote a book on how to run an employment agency. She was unemployed at the time. One of her first paying jobs was writing a love story for a book published by Bantam called Moments of Love. She had a deadline of one week but promptly came down with the flu. Heather wrote "The Sands of Time" with a raging temperature, and delivered some pretty hot stuff because of it. Her stint at New York City’s No Soap Radio - where she wrote comedic ad copy – help develop her long-time love affair with comedy. Her first novel of the humorous Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, Murder is a Family Business, is winner of the Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award 2011. The second, A Wedding to Die For, received finalist nods from both Global and EPIC’s for Best eBook Mystery of the Year, 2012. It also won the Editors and Predators silver, 2012. The third of the series, Death Runs in the Family, won the Global Gold 2013. The fourth installment, Dead…If Only, won Global Silver 2015. The CEO Came DOA, Book Five, won the Global Gold Medal 2017 and Dan Poynter Legacy Award 2017. The Culinary Art of Murder, is the sixth book of the series.  

Author Links   Website:  
Heather’s Blog:  
Facebook -  
Twitter -  
Sign up for Heather’s newsletter at: Purchase Link - Amazon

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks, Kathy, for posting about my new book and me. It's only been out for a few days and it's all very exciting. Thanks for allowing me to share the news!

  2. Thank you for hosting Heather Haven and her new book on your blog. Seeing the information you provided I definitely have become a fan of Heather Haven.

  3. I enjoy reading culinary mysteries and Heather is a new author to me and I'm definitely adding her books to my TBR list.

  4. I wasn't aware of this series until reading this blog. It will definitely go on my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!